I’ve had so many questions on this topic, and I still have many questions myself, but Rickey and I did have our DNA tested for genealogical purposes only through ancestry.com, and I have to tell you that it has been totally interesting and totally frustrating all at the same time. It could also be totally consuming…if I allowed it to be because I am so fascinated by what I am learning!
Let’s start with the bad. If you are a dead-serious genealogist, you are probably a member of ancestry.com, and you are extremely careful with every teeny-tinny bit of info that you post because you don’t want to lead someone down the wrong road, right? That’s the way I work. I also never just take for granted that info I find on Ancestry is correct, and I don’t share or save it unless I ask the person just how sure he is of his information.
Being so particular can make the DNA hints we receive totally frustrating because MANY people are testing, seeming to believe that the test will do the work for them. I probably have at least 200 people on Ancestry whose DNA matches mine in some way; however, because those people do not have family trees, there is no starting point to discover just how we might be related. I have to bite my tongue (hard!) when I get those messages:
“Hey, I see we’re related. How?”
I want to scream…but I don’t! Besides the good FAR outweighs the bad, as far as I am concerned. You will see just some of the benefits of the DNA testing from the photo below. As you can see, it appears that this person and I might “hook up” at my 5th great-grandparents. This gives us a GREAT place to start investigating. If my info is completely correct, and it is, and if the other person is sure of her/his info, then we can both feel very assured that all of our research is correct.
Of course, there are mysteries not easily solved at all, and I have people who are working with me to find our connection (and DNA says there is a connection), and we are beyond stuck…so far!
And every now and then (unless everyone else on Ancestry is incorrect) you have to accept that you just might not be who you think you are. That has happened to me because one set of my 4th great-grandparents do not seem to be my grandparents at all. In fact, it is looking more and more as if those grandparents reared a daughter of my 4th great-grandfather’s brother and his wife. That does not change the paternal line because both men share the same father, but it blows huge holes into that maternal line!
More to come when I know more!